Quetta: New International Terminal at Quetta Airport was inaugurated by Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Wednesday. Airports are now considered as vital economic as well as strategic assets. The importance of airports in terms of global connectivity have enhanced the requirement of aviation infrastructure. Therefore this government has placed aviation sector on its top priority to ensure regional connectivity and to bring direct economic benefits to respective airport. Quetta airport handles about 5 lac passenger per annum. Currently there are 38 flights per week coming to Quetta airport.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority envisaged expansion of Quetta airport and started construction in 2016. Phase 1 of project was completed in May 2018, which contained domestic terminal only. Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that when I took over as Federal Minister for Aviation, added that he put phase – 2 of project on top priority and gave clear instructions for its completion expeditiously. The construction of terminal building started in 2016 and the total cost incurred on project is about 3 billion rupees. Main features include total area of terminal has been increased about 3 times i.e. from 73,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft providing spacious areas for smooth passenger flow. Check-in counters have been increased from 3 to 12 (which is 4 times the old capacity).Immigration counters have been increased from 8 to 26.Baggage belts on arrivals have been increased from 1 each to 2 each in Domestic & International Arrivals. Seating in international increased from only 260 to 816 seats. And a CIP lounge with 53 seats. Seating in domestic departure lounge has been increased from 200 to 432 seats. And a CIP lounge with 30 Seats. Following Facilities Have Been Added, 4 Escalators, 4 Elevators and 2 Passenger Boarding Bridges.
In addition to above, a new facility of state lounge for heads of state and dignitaries have been added. Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that after the expansion of terminal, we have increased the passenger handling capacity to 1.6 million passengers per annum.
Federal Minister said that we are not only going to inaugurate phase-2 that is international terminal of Quetta airport but also laying the foundation for reconstruction of main runway. Reconstruction of runway was long overdue. Because of the dilapidated condition of runway, wide body aircraft could not land at Quetta, effecting its connectivity to other parts of world. Federal Minister therefore directed CAA to immediately plan and undertake the project. Today with grace of Almighty we have laid the foundation for phase-3 of development of runway. After the runway is completed, flight operations with large aircrafts Boeing 777 will be possible. Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that Quetta will have direct flights for hajj and other countries of the world.
Federal Minister said that we shall make all efforts to complete phase-3 by October 2021.The project will also boost the economic conditions through job creation, skill development and running of industry.